India Inc has identified four areas including strategy and sustainability on which board should increase focus over the next 10 years to support business growth prospects, says a Grant Thornton survey.
The survey noted that boards cannot afford to be short-sighted if they are to meet the challenges and opportunities of the next decade.
In India, the number one priority was developing better strategic planning horizons, which was cited by 47 per cent of respondents, followed by sustainability ( 44 per cent), digital economy expertise (40 per cent) and identification and prevention of fraud (37 per cent).
“Boards need to be structured and organised dynamically to respond to these changes as opposed to the traditional static approach. Those who do not heed to these changes will become history very rapidly. It is time to take the wheel on corporate governance,” said Harish HV, Partner India Leadership team, Grant Thornton India LLP.
The Indian regulatory environment is going through several changes, including changes to the Companies Act, financial reporting standards, and the possible implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Changes to Companies Act were significantly influenced by high profile examples of large corporate frauds resulting in ever more responsibility on Board members, Independent Directors and Auditors.
“Boards must balance guiding companies in embracing these regulatory changes while retaining a focus on growth by infusing the right culture,” the report ‘Boards of the future: steering organisations to thrive’, noted.
The report identifies boosting diversity as a key challenge for Boards over the next 10 years.
Nearly 88 per cent respondents to its International Business Report (IBR) recognise their Board needs to do more to encourage more diversity.
The second key challenge identified is boosting digital capability, but evidence suggests there is a long way to go until this becomes a reality.
Only 25 per cent business leaders said that digital expertise is an area where their Board should increase focus over the next 10 years.
The data for this report was drawn from interviews with more than 2,500 chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior executives conducted between August and September, 2015.